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Toys lift malnourished kids' mental abilities

Scientists studying malnourished children in developing nations have found a link between child's play with toys and a boost in intelligence, despite their conditions, according to a report from Reuters.

"We have done play programs in Bangladesh where the children are severely malnourished and we have produced up to a nine-point improvement in the IQ of these kids--just with play," said researcher Sally McGregor of the Institute of Child Health at University College London, according to the report.

Governments and aid agencies could improve the IQs of children in nations like China, Unganda and Bangladesh--where the researchers found nearly 200 million of the world's poorest children malnourished and under stimulated--by encouraging pre-school play at home, the researchers said. Of course, they also need to improve the children's nutrition.